My 365 Project: Hercules

Day 1: August 29. Friday
Day 1 of Project365. I’m ready for my close up!  #hercmycat #project365 #365daysofhercules #cats #cat #catsofinstagram #catsig #catsagram #aug29 #friday

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Today I’ve decided to take on a 365 Project of my cat Hercules on Instagram. It’s been at the back of my mind since he was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease in June. Herc is a 4th generation pet, and there’s always been at least one from his lineage in our family for almost three decades. Herc is the last of his line. I wanted to do something that would capture how he is NOW, but this is a big commitment for someone as lazy as me. (-___-)

Given the  statement above, I suspect I will more often use my mobile phone to take photos (like this one below) rather than do to the trouble of digging my DSLR out from its comfy dry box.

 

 

8/31 Update:

Day 2: August 30. Saturday
Herc’s paw. #project365 #365project #hercmycat #365daysofhercules #cats #catsofinstagrams #catsig #catstagram

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Herc, My Cat

This is Hercules, my cat.

He’s a 4th generation pet in our family, born and raised in our house. He is now 13 years old, and has recently been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease (or Chronic Renal Disease – CRD). Needless to say, I cry every time I look at him and he looks back with those soulful, almond-shaped green eyes.

      

His liver and heart are not in good shape either, so every morning before I go to work, I give him his meds (which he hates), during which he protests a lot and I get some scratches in return. -_- He seems to calm down a little when I sing, or maybe he’s just scared of what must seem like awful moaning to him. XD Afterwards I give him a rubdown and a hug, and stroke his cheeks (which he absolutely loves), and we do this all over again after I get home from work at night. These are lifetime maintenance meds, so he’ll have to get used to them.

   

 

Herc is half Maine Coon, which I learned is one of the breed of cats predisposed to developing chronic kidney disease. He has lost some weight since he got sick. He’s on wet prescription diet now, no dry kibbles anymore (sorry, big guy). He drinks very little water though, and mule-headed as he is, I could never cajole him to drink more. Good thing he has regained his appetite and energy somewhat in the last 2 days (thank God!), but now I have to cut his playtime short and hide his toys because he mustn’t get tired.

 

           

 

Just the other day, he slept on my chest while I was watching TV. Feeling his breathing vibrating though his body I started to cry. His ears perked up and he lifted his head. Somehow he sensed something was wrong, and he started sniffing at my face. There’s an article recently about how tears from different emotions are also structurally different under the microscope. As soon as he got a whiff of my tears he got a weird expression on his face that I almost laughed. And then he butted his head under my chin. I don’t think he was comforting me. I get the feeling he was telling me, “Don’t be such a baby!” XDD

 

   

 

 

I read that with proper care and diet, cats with kidney disease can live up to 2-3 years longer. My Herc is strong, stubborn and resilient. Sentient beings that cats are, he’s also very smart and intelligent. He’s been with me through some of the worst times of my life. Maybe, just maybe, we can get through this together. 😦

 

[13.07.29] 16th Taipei Pet Expo (台北寵物展)

Animals are amazing. Especially cats. They’re one of my most favourite subjects in photography.

They’re intelligent and sensient – I’m pretty sure they can sense whatever mood you’re in.

When I played with that grey and white cat and took it in my arms, I think it sensed that I was missing my cat back home, because its whole body just slumped on my chest, totally relaxed and trusting, even though it was the first time we’d met. Those big, round eyes stared at me, as if comforting me.

Or maybe I’m just putting too much meaning into something. XD

(Photos taken during the last day of the Taipei Pet Expo at the Nangang Exhibition Center.)